3 Things To Do Now To Make Sure You Finish 2016 Strong

toolsIt’s that time of year. Time for a mid-year checkup! The Fourth is over and I hope you had enough fireworks because we are just six short months away from 2017. How’s your 16’ going?

Let’s review, shall we?

Come on, its good exercise, and you really should be doing it every quarter anyway. Just like employee reviews, marketing performance reviews gives you insight into what’s working well, what isn’t working and what to prioritize in the months to come.

Let’s get started

First, get your marketing plans, strategy reports, goal sheets and any important information that you put together for your 2016 marketing initiatives both online and offline.

Next, review what your goals were for the year: the types of campaigns, budgets, marketing channels, and any high-level strategy you may have put in place.

Some of the big, important changes will take some time to fully implement, things like changes in your operation, bringing on new lines or ordering new inventory, hiring and training new employees, or putting a new marketing campaign together, it will take time to really get them rolling and you may not have all the results you need just yet.

Now is a great time to dig in while the rest of your competitors are busy doing their thing, you get to have an advantage to zigzag if you need to before it gets too late in the season.

But only if you make smart changes now!

Set a goal to take action on at least two important goals you had for this year. Do it while everyone else is sitting on their asses. Make your July, August and September set you up for a great Q4.

Contractors who understand planning and marketing appreciate the importance of a marketing strategy that is not only clearly defined but flexible. Different times of the year creates demand for different products or services. This is an opportunity to identify potential customers who might be looking for what you do depending on the time of year.

For example, we have a roofing client that runs fantastic specials in the winter. He has a huge crew that he wants to keep working year-round so he’d rather do significant seasonal discounts than lay people off. He makes his advertising push exactly when you’d expect a roofer to NOT be advertising.

The problem is, most contractors this time of year are too busy running the day-to-day affairs and can’t allocate the time required for research to improve their marketing strategy.

Here is a quick cheat sheet to get you started:

1. Identify and clearly define market opportunities that EXIST RIGHT NOW. Figure out where the gaps are in your market and determine what the opportunities are that exist and how they could be capitalized on. If your marketing plan didn’t allow for a mid-year adjustment, make the necessary changes so the company can take advantage of current opportunities.

2. Make sure you have a strong brand that is highly differentiated. This one is a little harder but start now to avoid having to do this again next year. How do you build a strong brand? You look for holes in the market. Things that other companies are doing that you can do better, cheaper, faster. Whatever it is that gives you the ability to be better.

3. Establish a competitive cost. Do research related to price changes due to the availability of supplies. Customers will be appreciative if you come to them and say, “I know when we bid your job two months ago, it was going to be this price, but there’s been a price drop on X material and we’d like to pass those savings on to you.” Imagine the good will you will pick up vs. the couple hundred or thousand you may pocket on a one-time event?

These are 3 great ways to shift your strategy mid-year without costing you a lot of money. Use these tips to pivot mid-season so you don’t have to be like the one’s who are trying to save their year in October!